Experience has shown that there are three key elements to success in this field: communication skills, technical knowledge, and management skills. Growing up in a family that was both culturally and career diverse has made communication across functional and geographic domains relatively natural for me. Technical knowledge and management skills, on the other hand, are largely learned. I will attempt to add clarity regarding how I've developed those skills.
My technical skills in environmental science and EHS regulation have been and continue to be enhanced through a series of education followed by application. My education has included a multitude of certification training required for EHS compliance and graduate work at Indiana University, Ball State University, and Eastern Michigan University. Leveraging my communication and technical skills, I was able to perform well as an environmental engineer receiving several recognitions for myself and the facilities I supported. As a result of that success I was asked to mentor others as a guest lecturer at Indiana University, University of Michigan, and various EHS functions on the subject of EHS management systems and issues related to emerging markets. As a member of the steering committee for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM) Partners for Pollution Prevention I mentored industrial leaders in the Midwest regarding pollution prevention and at the request of Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) I mentored other large manufacturers in the state on developing effective energy control and power lockout programs. These mentoring opportunities allowed me to see both the strengths and weakness existing EHS management faced across a multitude of settings.
I found traditional EHS education limited the curriculum to that of compliance and technical aspects of the field with little attention paid to management systems where opportunities abound for implementing effective proactive actions. Skills such as advanced project management, global resource management, application of lean principles, etc. were required to move from status quo EHS management to EHS system excellence. Since taking the position of Corporate EHS Manager I have furthered my education in those areas and applied that knowledge to every level of the organization. I've found that a management system focused on behavior related leading indicators and behavior based management techniques can provide significant improvement in key EHS metrics. This behavior based approach has shown great results in many areas.
Having recently completed a M.S. in Engineering Management degree from Eastern Michigan University and passing certifications in Manufacturing Engineering (CMfgE), Project Management (CAPM) and Engineering Management (CEM/AEM) my next objectives include sitting for the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) exam, obtaining ISO 50000 certification and obtaining registration in the National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP).
I hope you find the information on this site interesting. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any feedback you may have.
Russell L. Koon
42844 North Dartmoor Circle
Van Buren Township, MI 48111
Phone: (317) 210-0055
Fax: (206) 984-1099
I created this site to provide additional information on my career and educational background for those I meet in a professional setting. Every few years my career seems to present new opportunities that allow me to build on prior experience. Beginning my career as a skilled trades supervisor I progressed through various plant engineering positions before entering the environmental field as part of a Ford Motor Company ISO 14001 launch team. Since entering the environmental field I have progressed from the role of environmental engineer to that of Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Manager with various roles and responsibilities shared between myself and a small team of professionals.